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Archive for February, 2011

How to setup report bursting (data driven publication) in BusinessObjects

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on February 23, 2011

One of my favourite features of BusinessObjects is the data driven publication or report bursting. This allows the administrator to very easily setup personalized reports to be delivered to the users at scheduled intervals. For example if I want to send out a pipeline report with all of their active opportunities to all my sales managers every week the report publication feature would allow me to do this with just 1 single report as opposed to creating multiple reports, one for each sales manager.

So how do we set it up. It is quite simple. Let us say we have a report that shows the internet sales orders by country as shown in the report below.


Now I want to create a publication such that the sales administrators for each of the regions get the report for their respective territories. So first I set up another report (called recipient report) which list all the users and their email addresses as shown below.


Instead of hardcoding the users I have decided to make it very parameterized by using the database and crystal reports. In a database table I maintain the contact details for each of sales administrator and the territories that they manage.


This approach allows me to change the distribution at any time without having to worry about modifying any of the reports or scheduled jobs. Now using Crystal reports I have developed the report shown above, which is what I am going to use as the input for the scheduled job.

Now comes the process of setting up the scheduled job. In CMC (or Infoview) right click on the folder where you want to save the job and create a new publication job.



Now give the job a name and also select the report that you want to send to your users.



The next step is setting up the recipients of this report. You would use Enterprise Recipients if you wanted to send the report to the users of the BusinessObjects system. However this is not mandatory. As shown below you can also email the report to other users who do not have access to your BusinessObjects server. These could be your employees or even your customers/business partners.


With Dynamic recipients I can email reports to anyone as long as the mail server information is setup correctly in my BOE system. You would need to set this up in a couple places and I will cover this in a later post. For now assuming it is setup we can use the recipient report created earlier and map the user name and emails from that report.


The next step is personalization. I want the sales administrator for Australia to only get the orders from Australia. This is setup in the personalization section of the job. In this case the report is grouped by DimGeography.EnglishCountryRegionName and I use that split the report.


As shown above I can use the country name from the report and mapping to the country name for the recipient I am instructing the job to split the report by  DimGeography.EnglishCountryRegionName and use the Recipient Mapping column to deliver to the right user.


After setting the other aspects such as format and schedule, you can go ahead and test this publication job. You can either deploy it directly or you can test it first. I would recommend testing it, whereby you can give your email address and the job would run but instead of emailing the reports to the users it would be delivered to you.


That’s all there is to setting up publications. Now coming to setting up the mail servers, there are a couple of services for which we would need to set the email servers. The easiest way to get it to work is to first use a local email server to test the functionality and then moving to the corporate mail server. You would need to setup email as a destination for the following

  • Adaptive Job Server
  • Destination Job Server
  • Program Job Server
  • Publication Job Server
  • Crystal Reports Job Server

For each of the service right click and select destination as shown below


And set the details for the email server.

Posted in Administration, BusinessObjects, Distribution, Publication | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Drill down in XCelsius/Dashboard Design

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on February 9, 2011

One of the most frequent questions I get is around configuring drill down in XCelsius (Dashboard Design). XCelsius is primarily a dashboard development tool and it is not meant for analysis. Thus the typical usage of XCelsius does not require the standard type of adhoc drill down analysis that one would normally do within say web intelligence. However there are some instances where you would want a dashboard where the user can select some high level KPI and then have the ability to look into the details of that KPI. This can done using the drill down functionality in XCelsius. Keep in mind although it is called drill down the behaviour more consistent with master-detail type of report rather than a traditional drill down. The video below shows this in more detail.

Click here to download the video

Drilldown functionality in XCelsius (a.k.a Dashboard Design)


So how can you build something like this. It is actually quite simple as you can see in the video below.

Click here to download the video

How to enable drill down in a pie chart


Combining this with the live office functionality discussed in the last post should allow you to build really powerful and interactive dashboards. You can download a more complete example from here.

Posted in BusinessObjects, XCelsius | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Building Live Dashboards using Live Office

Posted by Hemanta Banerjee on February 3, 2011

In my previous post Creating Live Dashboards using QWAAS I had shown how you can use QWAAS (query as a webservice) to build live dashboards. While QWAAS is very powerful it has 2 drawbacks

  1. It is only available as part of BusinessObjects Edge/Enterprise (BOE). Crystal reports server (CRS) users do not have access to it.
  2. Can be confusing for the end user

Live Office is a great utility that comes as part of CRS and BOE and allows embedding reports or report parts within Microsoft Office documents. It is compatible with excel, word and PPT and allows creating live refreshable documents directly within MS Office.

Click here to download video

Using Live office to create refreshable office documents


As shown in the video above the process of creating a live document is quite straightforward. Now we know that XCelsius works with excel documents and using live office we can create a live excel documents. So putting these together we can now create a live dashboard which uses an existing crystal reports to fetch data from the database.

Click here to download video

Using Live Office and Excel to create connected dashboards


Using this technique it becomes quite easy for end users to pickup existing reports that already contain the data needed by the dashboard and quickly create live dashboards.

To download HD videos of this post please vi

Posted in BusinessObjects, Dashboard Design, XCelsius | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

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